Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Calendar

Today's your last day to go pick up an Advent calendar. Yes, I am a twenty something year old girl that buys an Advent calendar for herself. So I am not ready to let go of my childhood traditions, so what? Laugh all you want, but who doesn't like an excuse to eat a piece of chocolate everyday while counting down to Christmas!

What are some of your childhood traditions you still hold on to? Can you believe it's December already?? EEEK!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

While most of you ladies are fighting long lines to score fabulous black friday deals at your local mall or retail stores, I am spending today in a small town in Pennsylvania with my Mom, Dad, and my Mom's parents, and aunt and cousins visiting our favorite chocolate factory and store, enjoying lunch at our favorite spot, and of course shopping in our favorite little shops throughout the town. This is a tradition we have had for many years, I think since I was born actually! We didn't always go on Black Friday, but since school schedules have changed, I live in a different State far away, etc. this is the best time for us to go and I love it more and more each year.

I am excited to go back to one store in particular where my Mom and I found the most FABULOUS Christmas decorations for my house last year. I can't remember the name, but I remember exactly where it is and it will be one of my first stops after lunch, I can't wait!

I wish you all a safe, deal-scoring, money saving, Black Friday, but please remember there is nothing is this world worth getting up at 4am or earlier to stand in line for! My philosophy is if it isn't there later that day or the day after, or the next week for that matter, it wasn't worth it anyways! The holidays are about celebrating the birth of baby Jesus and celebrating with family and close friends, which in my opinion has nothing to do with materialistic things! Don't get me wrong I love Christmas shopping and taking part in the festivities, but we all, myself included, need to keep the holidays in perspective.

I will share the details of my Black Friday with y'all next week! Have a great weekend! Goo Cocks!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day!


We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house this year and my Mom and I are busy preparing for the big meal! I can't wait to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and spend the evening with each other, laughing until our stomachs ache! Oh and Thanksgiving morning isn't complete without catching a glimpse of the Thanksgiving parade.

I wish each and everyone of you and your family and friends a very joyful and happy Thanksgiving! Safe travels where the day may take you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sausage Casserole

Do you have recipes you make, but don't eat? That's how I am with breakfast casseroles. I like eggs, sausage, bread, milk, etc. but I don't like all these ingredients together in a casserole or sandwich form, it grosses me out. Not to ruin an absolutely fabulous recipe or so everyone says and I believe it, because there are never any leftovers!

I know many of you are probably enjoying some time off around the holidays with family and friends and entertaining more then usual. This breakfast casserole recipe is not only easy peasy, but it is something you can do the night before and pop in the oven the next morning, so you have more time for dishes that require last minute attention.

Sausage Casserole


6 slices of cubed bread
1 lb. cooked and crumbled sausage
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 eggs
2 cups of milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard


In a bowl slightly beat 8 eggs, add eggs to 2 cups of milk, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp dry mustard. Poor egg mixture over ingredients in dish and cover. Refrigerate overnight. Remove cover and bake at 150 degrees for 35 minutes.


Friday, November 19, 2010

A Celebration & An Event to Kick Off to the Holiday Season

Wednesday was Thomas' birthday, I won't disclose his OLD age, but I will say he falls in the age bracket that is closer to 30 than to 20. Yes, I am laughing, but only because I can since I'm not in the same age bracket, yet. For everyone else, don't worry about getting old, I just like giving Thomas a hard time about becoming an "old man!"

Anyways, back to the birthday celebration! We went to dinner for his birthday, his choice of course, and he a good choice he made, The Oyster Bar! Oyster Bar is one of our favorite places, and November is a perfect month for oysters since the month ends in "r." What I love about the Oyster Bar is its laid back atmosphere (a long wooden rectangular high top bar with bar stools lines the restaurant and there is a trough in the middle where the guys shuck your oysters) and the exceptionally friendly staff who sucks your oysters for you. What could be better than enjoying oysters while watching someone else do the work? With our oysters we also ordered a pound of craw fish and Thomas ordered a cup of seafood gumbo and a side order of red potatoes, which I ended up help eating, oh well. And of course we couldn't stop there, we ordered another peck of oysters before calling it quits. The Oyster Bar's homemade cocktail sauce called "Mother Shucker's" is to die for and it's warm when they serve it to you, it's heavenly. The oysters were delicious and we had a great time together!

After dinner we had to have dessert to continue the celebration of course. Every year I've always made Thomas' a birthday cake, but this year I decided that wouldn't be a good idea since I knew we wouldn't be able to eat it all before it went to waste. So Cupcake to the rescue! During lunch on Wednesday I picked up two cupcakes, Red Velvet (one of Thomas' favorites) and Strawberry Cheesecake (one of the flavors of the day). We started with the Strawberry Cheesecake with the intentions of only eating one, but that didn't exactly work! So we ate the Red Velvet cupcake too and they both were excellent.

I don't have any pictures from the night because I couldn't think while trying to overcome my hunger pains, so you are just going to have to picture in your head the best oysters you've ever had and multiply it by 100 and then picture you favorite cupcake and imagine that's what we were enjoying, but better!

Fast forward with me now to last night. Every year part of Columbia's downtown known as the Vista, kicks off the holiday season with an event called, Vista Lights! Vista Lights is one of my favorite events in Columbia to celebrate the holidays. The city closes off several blocks of the main street that runs through the Vista so adults and children can walk freely in the street. Vista Light's is almost like a open house to kick off the holiday season with over 60 galleries, shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues open their doors for the evening to showcase holiday treasures. There are fire pits to roast marshmallows in the street, a bridal fashion show, lighting of the Christmas tree, lots of shops to see, and of course good food and drinks.

I am happy it was chilly this year because we been when it's been very, very windy and cold which was miserable and then we have also been when the weather has been so mild it was almost warm and that certainly doesn't make it feel like the holidays are near. So I would say this year was picture perfect! We sampled Blue Marlin's famous shrimp and grits which are unbelievably amazing, I had a glass of barbie wine while Thomas had a beer or two, watched the lighting of the Christmas tree, and we of course went in and out of all the galleries and shops while enjoying the entertainment in the street. We had an absolute blast and I'm sad it's over. Already looking forward to next year!

(Sorry for the poor picture quality, I forgot my camera!)

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Last home football game for the season, let's go cocks!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shop Til You Drop! & A Big WIN!

'Tis the season! Last weekend Thomas' Mom and I went to Charlotte to shop! Honestly, I can't think of better way to spend a day. We had so much fun and literally shopped til we dropped! We hit all of our favorite stores and made some great purchases, all for ourselves of course. Even though we had Thomas' birthday coming up and of course Christmas, we didn't let the stress of the Holiday season tear us down. In our minds, it was just another fun day shopping!

About mid afternoon we took a break to refuel our bodies with some delicious Italian food. Our sandwiches hit the spot and not too much later we were back on our feet shopping. After a full day of shopping we listened to Christmas music on our drive home. We both agreed that we don't think about decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but that it wasn't too early to listen to Christmas music because there is just isn't enough time to enjoy Christmas music!

Later that night, while resting our feet from our fabulous shopping day, we watched the Carolina Gamecocks BEAT the Florida Gators for the SEC Championship!!!! The first time in USC history might I add! Gooo Cocks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Steals & Deals

1) I am huge fan of Groupon even though we have only had it in Columbia for a couple of months. How Groupon works is you sign up, select cities you are interested in receiving deals from, and you’ll get e-mails daily with the “daily Groupon” for that city. Some days they even have side deals which usually last longer then one day. If you have an iPhone there is an app for Groupon. The Groupon app makes it very easy to search deals in other cities and take advantage of the savings! Groupon has coupons for everything from restaurants, things to do around the city, salon and spa services, entertainment events, and the list goes on! Sign up here! Trust me in no time flat you will be hooked just like moi.

2) Have you heard of Ebates? If you shop online, you MUST sign up for Ebates! How does Ebates work? You sign up and log in to your Ebates account, you search for the store you are going to purchase something through and you connect to that website through the Ebates website. Once you make your purchase you will be credited a certain amount to your Ebates account. For example, purchases made at Ann Taylor through your Ebates account result in 6% back. Another neat retailer on Ebates is Groupon, so not only will you be getting a great discount through Groupon, but you’ll get a 6% rebate on your purchase from Ebates! I don’t think it gets much better then that! The “rebate” or percentage of cash back can be used in addition to the website discount codes and most of the time Ebates will tell if there are any active discount codes at that particular store. You can receive your rebate money through Paypal or paper check every few months. Sign up here!!!

3) Are you a Starbucks fanatic? If so, you are going to love this deal! All you need to do to sign up is text 12DAYS to 29943 to receive a daily offer from Starbucks now through December 1st! See you at Starbucks!

What are some of your favorite deals? Please do share!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Royal Wedding.

Let me start by saying, who knew the Royal Family was so good at keeping secrets? I was shocked to hear that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged back in October! At first I thought there was something fishy, like Prince William didn’t ask Kate’s Father until after he proposed and that was the reason they were waiting to announce it to the media. Thankfully, that was not the case. Why the wait, I’m not sure, may be so they could spend some time celebrating in private with family and friends? Whatever the case maybe, the news is out and there’s going to be a Royal Wedding within the next year, SQUEEE!

A few tidbits regarding the details of their engagement:

Engaged last month while on a safari in Kenya

Kate ditches her nickname for a more formal Catherine

Prince Charles jokes “they’ve been practicing long enough”

Prince William proposed using the engagement ring of his mother, Princess Diana, an 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring

The wedding will take place either next Spring or Summer before the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year (2012)

Once married they will be known as the Prince and Princess of Wales

To learn more about their engagement and upcoming wedding, click here. To watch Prince William and Kate's first interview together as an engaged couple, click here. And if you are still interested in learning more there is a Dateline Special on William & Kate tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 8/7 Central.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Edict: An announcement of a law.

Lucky Magazine is celebrating their 10th anniversary in December and in their December issue they had an article entitled "After a decade at Lucky, these are the 100 edicts the editors, live by." I didn't include all 1o0 edicts in this post, rather just the ones that I thought were most interesting. I hope you enjoy reading and learn something new!
Beachy waves are always sexy.
Your hair will be shinier if you final rinse is with cold water.
blow-dry side to side rather than (or in addition to) upside down for volume.
The biggest mistake people make in the shower is not getting their hair wet enough--without a ton of water, shampoo neither gets in or out of hair well, leaving it duller than dull.
Braids are sexy, cute, and the only acceptable form of pigtail.
Makeup & Beauty
Beauty products make the best presents: they seem incredibly personal, but there not.
An ultra-pale pedicure makes your feet look tanner. Same with silver.
A bit of face oil patted on over makeup really revives your whole look.
The most powerful anti aging weapon currently available besides injections and plastic surgery--retinol.
Any two shades of lipstick, mixed, are almost always super flattering.
Your favorite highly pigmented lipstick also makes a great sheer cheek stain: Blot on with your fingers, blot again with a tissue.
Self-tanner makes you look instantly thinner and well-rested.
Melted candle wax makes a very fine cuticle cream.
Sunscreen doubters should consider the amazing linelessness of their body parts that never see the sun.
No beauty product can do for you what eight hours of sleep can. AMEN!
Pale nail polish lasts much longer.
If you use face powder, apply it sparingly to your T-zone only.
If you're out of scrub (face or body), remember that ancient implement, the washcloth.
Always apply powder with a brush. Even compact powder.
Thong underwear is not a necessity under most clothing.
If your bra is riding up, it's too big (in number, not letter) so swap your 34B for 32B.
Don't by underwear that needs to be hand washed-inevitably you'll end up putting it in the washing machine and it'll get trashed.
Hanky Panky underwear is the only brand that also works when you're pregnant.
Your bra straps can show; your underwear straps never should.
New Clothes
Shop for boots in August before they all sell out.
Always have at least one black tie dress in your closet in case of last-minute celebrating.
Go to Zara on Tuesday when the new shipment comes in.
Don't shop for clothes when you're tan, thin, or in the Bahamas because everything looks good when you're tan, thin, and in the Bahamas.
Every season buy a white cotton Miu Miu top. You'll never regret the splurge.
Looking for a dress when you actually need one will rarely lead to a successful find.
Buy clothes that you'll wear on a Tuesday afternoon, not a Saturday night--few people lead Saturday-night lives.
Don't wear new shoes to a wedding or your first day of work.
Black Tights
Black opaque tights make everyone's legs look good.
Black tights can look great through open-toe shoes (as long as the tights aren't sheer). Nude tights can never look great. Full stop.
The only brands to eve buy blacker-than-opaque tights from: Tabio, Commando, and Wolford.
Roll. Never Fold.
Check out the weather report--it gets cold in Cuba and hot in Alaska.
Put a change of clothes and a few toiletries in your hand luggage--so your toothbrush (along with the rest of your luggage) doesn't go to Albany when you go to Austria.
Never get on an airplane without a cashmere blanket or huge scarf.
Bring an extra bag: the kind that rolls up really small--in case you really go shopping on your trip.
Pack socks and good snacks in your carry on.
Pouch everything: all your electronics go in one, toiletries go in another, and so on.
Avoid being featured on Hoarders by living the "one in, one out" mantra: if you buy something new, take something else out and sell it on eBay or donate it.
Color code.
Try on your entire wardrobe every six months with an honest friend or mirror nearby.
Pack two bags: one for Goodwill and one for the maybes. Give aways the first, and revisit the second in six months. It eases you into the breakup.
Salespeople & Shopping
Most useless advice from a salesperson "you can wear it with jeans."
Things that look crappy on a hanger could look gorgeous once you put them on.
If something is expensive, leave it behind for 24 hours. If you're still obsessed with it the next day, buy it.
Biggest turnoff from a salesperson "This is our bestselling ______!"
If you're feeling lost, trail the chicest woman in the store and check out what she checks out.
In-store lighting is not to be trusted. Stand by a window.
Black will always be the new black. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.
Mixing navy and black or pink and red can look very chic.
You can put almost any prints together as long as they have something in common (color, shape, style).
The one remaining style rule to never break: no more than three colors to one outfit.
Crazy colors can be basics: We've had to resole our coral patent ballet flats a zillion times while barely wearing out black ones.
Tailoring & Fit
It's good to have a pair of jeans hemmed for flats and another pair hemmed for heels.
Fitted jackets and coats always make you feel skinny, even with you're pregnant.
If you have curves and want to wear voluminous clothes, get to know your belts. It's the only way you won't look like a dump truck.
Your waist isn't where you think it is. It's about three inches higher. The most flattering spot for a waisted dress to hit is just under the rib cage.
The stitching at the top of the jeans will never stretch, so size up if it leaves a red mark.
Find a good tailor and be very nice to him. He could be your greatest asset.
Cigarette pants with flats will always make you look feminine.
An off the shoulder top should still skim your shoulder.
Shoes & Bags & Little Leather Things
If shoes are only marginally comfortable when you try them on in the store you can be sure they'll be excruciating on the street.
Always have two pairs of boots in your closet that aren't scuffed up tall black ones and flat brown ones.
If you invest in a Chanel bag, you will carry it for the rest of your life.
By age 30, every woman should own three pairs of comfortable flats, three pairs of walkable heels, and two pairs of total sexpot stilettos.
Know how to use your local shoe repair--they can also clean your bags, punch holes in your belts, and dye stuff.
The best and most comfortable flats are usually the cheapest.
In life you will need four bags- a big slouchy weekend one, two-good-looking but practical work ones, and a sleek evening one. Minimum.
Resole your favorite shoes as often as it takes. You will miss them when they die.
A long-sleeved gown can be completely sexy. The same is not true of a long skirt and long-sleeve top, which can look completely polygamist.
A leather jacket looks great with a party dress.
Pairing a boyish piece with a girly one will make you look like you know how to dress.
When all else fails, a skinny cardigan can pull any look together.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

This is another delicious recipe from Thomas' Mom! I couldn't have been more excited to use my crock pot for the first time this season last week and I of course had to share this recipe with you as it is one of my favorite meals during the fall and winter months. Not to mention, it is scary how easy this recipe is!

Recipe for Beef Stroganoff


2lbs. Beef Tips

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Can Cream of Celery Soup

1 Package Dry Onion Soup Mix
1 (8oz.) Package of Extra Wide Egg Noodles

Place beef tips in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and add to beef tips. Cook overnight (I do mine during the day while I'm at work) on low heat.
Serve over extra wide egg noodles, cooked according to package directions.


**Sorry there is not a picture of the finished product, I completely forgot in the midst of my hunger pains!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Scent of the Season

I think this is the perfect Fall candle. It's scent is not too sweet and not too spicey, it's just right! Whenever I have this candle burning, I get so many compliments. Not to mention it will fill your entire house with it's delightful scent!

What's your favorite Fall candle?